In 2005, Princess Diana's brother, 9th Earl Spencer, opened the doors of the Althorp Mansion, built in 1508 in Northamptonshire, to the prestigious furniture maker Theodore Alexander, helping to set the foundations of a very special collection. The items in the original collection represent British and European styles, with gilded carved mirrors, lighting sets, elaborate handcrafted furniture and accessories reflecting the glory of Earl Spencer's historic manor house. The reproductions are an exact replica of the admirable treasured collections of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries created by family members of the 90-room Althorp mansion with over 500 years of diligence and care. This handcrafted collection features furniture and accessories that Althorp mansion residents have been using in their living spaces for 20 generations.
In the UK, very few houses are privately owned in this way. The vast majority of profits from Althorp Living History go toward payment of maintenance and repair expenses for the mansion. Spencer says, ‘After having found a safe haven in the mansion for over 500 years now, it is now time for the furniture to return the favor and look after the mansion.’